SI.com's Tony Pauline checks in daily with news and notes about top prospects participating in pro days.
The final pro day on the official schedule was a long one, as almost 40 players participated in the Hawaii workout. In Dallas, 20 teams showed up for SMU's workout.
The turnout of scouts, coaches and NFL decision-makers to the SMU campus on Thursday was the largest since Eric Dickerson last carried a football wearing the school colors. Most were on hand to watch fast rising prospect Emmanuel Sanders -- and the receiver did not disappoint.
Sanders stood on his combine marks but ran routes and caught all types of passes for scouts. Forty balls were thrown to Sanders during the workout and he caught all but two.
Barely registering on scout's radar before the 2009 season, Sanders could be a top 100 selection at the NFL Draft later this month.
Hawaii's pro day was highlighted by a prospect waiting for the NCAA to decide his future.
Linebacker Brashton Satele impressed scouts with his athleticism from the very beginning of his workout. Satele weighed 243 pounds then ran his 40 in 4.59 seconds, short shuttle in 4.08 seconds and posted a three cone time of 6.82 seconds.
The NCAA is to decide by the middle of April whether or not they will grant Satele a sixth year of eligibility. If his request is denied, Satele will make himself available for the draft. Today he made his case to be a middle-round pick.
Offensive lineman Aaron Kia also turned in an impressive performance. Kia weighed just over 280 pounds then timed as fast as 5-flat in the 40 and posted a vertical jump of 35 inches. He was fluid and moved well in drills. Teams in need of a zone-blocking lineman could look to Kia late in the draft.
John Estes, the team's top prospect, was unable to workout after hurting his hamstring during his initial attempt in the 40-yard dash. There remains a possibility that Estes could get a workout in before the NFL Draft.
The official pro day schedule reaches a conclusion today after three full weeks of workouts, and that's no April Fools joke.
Many scouts who were at the Texas workout yesterday will travel to Dallas for SMU's pro day. The Mustangs' top prospect, receiver Emmanuel Sanders, will stand on most of his combine numbers, just catching the football and running routes for the scouts in attendance.
Hawaii pro day takes place today in Carson, California. John Estes, one of the top centers in the nation, did not receive a combine invitation but he will headline the workout. Also participating is linebacker Brashton Satele, who we featured in the March 25 pro day tracker. Satele, you may remember, is awaiting word from the NCAA on whether he will receive a sixth season of eligibility. No final decision has been made yet.
The Hawaii workout will also allow players who live in the Los Angeles but attend other colleges another chance to work out in front of scouts. San Jose State defensive lineman Carl Ihenacho is one such player. He's struggled in recent workouts since returning from knee surgery that was performed late last year.
One player we failed to mention who had a solid workout during the USC pro day yesterday was cornerback Kevin Thomas. He was timed in the low 4.4's and looked terrific in drills. Scouts commented that his performance yesterday was an improvement over his combine workout.
On the other hand, the news is not as bright for UCLA defensive tackle Brian Price. The buzz is getting louder that scouts were not impressed with his performance on Tuesday. The word in scouting circles is that Price looked poorly conditioned and he struggled. There's a common opinion that Price, who many thought was a lock to be selected in the first round, could slip into the second frame. Others contend that he is a prospect who plays much better than he tests.
Some notes and observations from USC's pro day in Los Angeles:
Taylor Mays did not improve in the position drills after poor showings at the Senior Bowl and NFL combine. He was stiff, he practiced upright, and he looked very robotic, uneasy and off-balance while breaking to the ball. He struggled changing direction at full speed and was asked to repeat drills on a few occasions.
As was the case earlier this year, several scouts said they think a move to linebacker is in the offing for Mays. Scouts in general are starting to compare him to former Dallas Cowboys first round pick Roy Williams; an oversized college safety with poor skills in pass coverage.
Receiver Damian Williams decided against running the 40 today, but did participate in position drills and he looked terrific. He ran crisp routes and caught everything that was thrown his way. It was an improvement from his practice session at the combine.
Tight end Anthony McCoy went against the recommendation of doctors, who said he needed seven days of rest due to his tonsillitis, and participated in position drills. Like Williams, the big tight end looked terrific. He also ran good routes and displayed soft, wide receiver-like hands.
Offensive tackle Charles Brown, who only participated in the bench press and vertical jump at the combine, ran his first 40 in a time of 5.3 seconds, but hurt his left hamstring.
Defensive end Everson Griffen posted a hand time of 4.60 seconds in the 40 -- that's .05 faster than his best mark at the combine.
Underrated reserve offensive lineman Nick Howell posted a 5-flat in the 40. Howell, who played several positions on the Trojan line as a backup, is getting late-round consideration. Earlier in the day, he completed 38 reps on the bench.
As expected, there's a huge crowd in Austin for the Texas Longhorns pro day. Thirty NFL teams have at least on scout on hand.
The workout just started a while ago but in the early going, safety Earl Thomas has been the star. First reports from Texas have the underclassman timing at 4.35 seconds in the 40, a full one-tenth better than his combine mark.
Receiver Jordan Shipley ran his 40 in the 4.54 to 4.55 seconds range, which is much better than his mark from Indianapolis. Linebacker Roddrick Muckelroy ran 4.68 to 4.75), also an improvement from the combine. Thus far, unheralded offensive lineman Charlie Tanner has turned in a terrific workout. Tanner started the day by completing 35 reps on the bench, posted a vertical jump of 36 inches, and then ran his 40 in times as fast as 5.06 seconds. His official average for the two runs will be in the range of 5.12 seconds.
Players are in the midst of position drills and, by all accounts, Sergio Kindle has looked awesome. Kindle thus far has been very quick and explosive in linebacker drills. He also successfully participated in defensive line drills.
Lamarr Houston continues to look impressive and move north on draft boards. Like Kindle, he stood on his combine times, but has been quick and fluid in position drills. He's also easily moving about the field, which is what scouts wanted to see.
South Carolina: For the most part, the top Gamecocks prospects participated in drills during this morning's workout and stood on their combine numbers.
Defensive back Darian Stewart looked terrific and came away a big winner. The big safety, considered by most to be primarily a run defender, capitalized on his solid practice session from the combine and again displayed terrific ball skills. His footwork in reverse was smooth and Stewart showed speed moving laterally. More and more, he is proving to scouts that there are many dimensions to his game.
Defensive lineman Clifton Geathers was also impressive. The 6-foot 7½-inch prospect weighed in at 296 pounds. His arms were measured at 37 inches long. His short shuttle time was 4.73 seconds and his three cone was 7.2, the latter being a big improvement over his combine mark. Geathers also did well in position drills though his form is still a bit rough. Scouts feel he's a player with a great amount of upside. Geathers' performances at the combine and here today could cement him as a third round pick.
Just two more pro-day events left on the official schedule and today is a big one. As many as 12 players who are likely to be selected during the initial three rounds of the draft are expected to perform for scouts today.Later this morning in Austin, almost one dozen draft eligible Longhorns will be working out for NFL scouts. For the first time since injuring his shoulder in the national title game Colt McCoy will throw for scouts. Outside linebacker/defensive end Sergio Kindle and receiver Jordan Shipley stand to benefit from good showings today.
One hour later the USC Trojans kickoff their pro day in Los Angeles. Safety Taylor Mays, receiver Damian Williams and offensive tackle Charles Brown all have a lot riding on today's workout. Poor weather in the southern California area could factor hamper the workout.
As if that were not enough, top defensive prospects Eric Norwood and Clifton Geathers take to the field during South Carolina's pro day.
There was a big turnout in Westwood this afternoon for the UCLA pro day, the first of three consecutive West Coast workouts on the calendar.
Linebacker Kyle Bosworth was very impressive, posting a 40 time of 4.56 on what was classified as a slow surface. The time represents a one-tenth improvement from his fastest hand time at the combine. Bosworth looked very athletic in position drills.
Cornerback Alterraun Verner stood on his numbers from the combine but looked terrific in position drills. Several scouts in attendance claimed Verner's ball skills were the best of any defensive back they've witnessed this year on the pro-day circuit. Verner now ranks towards the top of the second tier of cornerbacks who'll be selected starting in Round 2.
Other solid performances were turned in by H-back Ryan Moya, who posted a 40 of 4.65 seconds. Linebacker/defensive end Korey Bosworth ran a time of 4.62 seconds, as well as 26 reps on the bench.
In Waco, Texas, ten teams showed up to watch Oklahoma State cornerback Perrish Cox work out.
Cox tipped the scales at 191 pounds, four less than his combine weight. His 40-yard times ranged as fast as 4.45 seconds with the wind and around 4.57 when running into the wind. Those unofficial times represent an improvement from his combine performance. Cox posted times of 6.7 seconds in the three cone as well as 11.62 in the 60-yard shuttle, both solid marks. He did not participate in either event at the combine. He was fluid and effective in position drills with a number of scouts mentioning that Cox looks fit.
Not far from Waco, Oklahoma State receiver Dez Bryant finally held his individual workout. His results were far from spectacular and the word is that he looked ill-prepared to perform in front of scouts. His 40 times ranged from the mid 4.5-second area to as slow as 4.63 seconds. He looked out of sorts during his three cone and shuttle runs, reportedly because he forgot to bring his running cleats to the workout. Bryant was forced to wear a brand new pair of cleats that were not properly broken in and, as a result, he has done a lot of slipping and sliding during his 40 and shuttle runs. Even worse, scouts have reported that Bryant seems unmotivated and is not giving a great deal of effort. This is not going to help his draft stock, which has been in a free fall.
Wind played a factor at the South Florida pro day. Defensive end George Selvie slightly improved his times in the 40 from those he posted in the combine, running in the low-to-mid 4.9 seconds area. Receiver Carlton Mitchell made an even greater improvement. Mitchell was swift running with the wind, timing in 4.41 and 4.42 seconds while his times into the wind were a respectable. His fastest official hand time during the combine was 4.46 seconds.
Safety Nate Allen, who was hopeful of working today after sitting out the combine with a quad injury, suffered a flare-up of the muscle ailment during the broad jump and was unable run for scouts. Allen later did position drills despite the leg injury. He plans on running for scouts prior to the draft once his quad is better.
Jason Pierre-Paul and George Selvie both looked solid when running through defensive line and linebacker drills.
One day after Sam Bradford's terrific workout there are three big events on the schedule this afternoon.
Scouts are in Tampa as South Florida steps to the forefront . Safety Nate Allen, a potential second-round choice who missed combine workouts with a quad injury, is participating today. Defensive end George Selvie hopes to improve from his disappointing performance in Indianapolis, while fast rising receiver Carlton Mitchell hopes to better the surprisingly good times he turned in at the combine.
Cornerback Perrish Cox, who also ran poorly at the combine then was disallowed from participating in Oklahoma State's pro-day by head coach Mike Gundy, is holding a private workout today in Waco.
Finally UCLA also has its workout this afternoon.
Defensive end Corey Wootton ran for scouts today during the Northwestern pro-day and turned in a reasonable workout. His times in the 40 ranged from 4.93-to-4.95 seconds. Wootton's short shuttle time was 4.28 while his three-cone time was an unofficial 7-flat, a terrific mark.
He was later put through defensive end and linebacker drills. The consensus is Wootton, who measured 6-feet, 6-inches and 272 pounds to start the day, looked smooth on the field.
Projected as a top-10 pick through much of his college career, Wootton suffered a serious knee injury during the 2008 Alamo Bowl and never fully regained his dominant form last season. He is getting a lot of attention as a two-gap end in a 3-4 alignment and presently grades as a second round pick. Wootton could end up being a steal in the draft if he gets his game back on track.
Cornerback Sherrick McManis, who did not run at the combine due to injury, was again unable to perform for scouts today due to similar reasons. Northwestern officials say they hope to have a pro-day for McManis sometime in April.
Sam Bradford's pro-day ended just a few minutes ago and it is surely to be classified as a success. The Oklahoma junior, coming off shoulder surgery that cut short his 2009 season, completed everything that NFL scouts asked of him this morning in Norman.
From the get-go, Bradford seemed loose and was joking around while warming up. Yet once his passing workout commenced, he was all business. He was accurate from start to finish, placing passes into receivers' hands. He rarely had his passcatchers getting vertical or reaching back to grab the ball. Bradford threw several beautiful strikes downfield, hitting receivers in stride some 40 yards from the line of scrimmage an drawing applause from the people on hand. His deep outs, the money throw for any quarterback in these workouts, were also on the mark. Bradford put plenty of air under the ball and let receivers easily run to the pass.
Bradford also displayed good footwork when asked to move outside the pocket and then make the throw in motion. He was accurate and lost little on passes while throwing on the move. He also looked natural when simulating looking off defensive backs from the pocket.
Early on, receivers were waiting a bit for his pass to arrive, likely a timing issue as Bradford becomes more accustomed to setting up in the pocket from underneath center, rather than taking the majority of his snaps from the shotgun, as he did at Oklahoma.
Bradford did not display a rifle arm, yet he showed enough strength to make all the throws.
Will this workout be enough to make him the first pick of the draft? At the very least, the skills Bradford displayed today give the St Louis Rams more justification if they grab the signal caller at the top of round one.
Sooner running back Chris Brown was another standout during today's pro day event. His 40 was timed at 4.55 seconds, much better than his mark at the combine where he hurt his hamstring. His three-cone of 7.07 seconds was also a solid mark. He looked terrific in pass catching drills, too.
Earlier, Brown told us he was not surprised by the workout Bradford turned in this morning. "Sam was here working with us last week, getting the timing down, and he was throwing the ball incredibly well in practice," he said.
Tight end Brody Eldridge ran well today during the OU pro day. His times in the 40 ranged between 4.70 and 4.77 seconds, which are good for the 260-pound prospect. Eldridge, who also saw time on the offensive line for the Sooners last season, is one of the better blocking tight ends in April's draft.
Utah: Scouts gathered in Utah today for a second workout by the Utes. Kao Misi completed 23 reps on the bench, a higher number than his strength coach had expected. Misi weighed in at 249 pounds. After a terrific showing at the Senior Bowl, a fine combine performance, and good pro day workouts, Misi has built momentum up the draft boards.
Stephen F. Austin: Tim Knicky is a late-round sleeper to keep an eye on. A half dozen teams were on hand this morning to watch SFA work out and Knicky was incredibly impressive. The small-school prospect measured 6-feet 4-inches and 252 pounds, posted a 33.5-inch vertical jump, and ran the 40 in times that ranged between 4.63 and 4.67 seconds. The defensive end was later put through linebacker drills and he looked outstanding.
The final week of pro-day workouts starts today with a barnburner. Sam Bradford is expected to workout and throw for scouts today in Norman, Oklahoma. Several of his Sooner teammates will also be participating in the workout. Defensive lineman Corey Wootton is also working out for scouts today as he returns to full health from the knee injury he sustained more than one year ago. We'll also be monitoring the Stephen F. Austin pro-day where small school prospect Tim Knicky works out for scouts.
Notes: Lost in the excitement of Kyle Wilson's pro-day performance last week was the fact that he weighed in at 185 pounds, nine less than his combine weight when he completed 25 reps on the bench press.
South Dakota State had a dozen scouts on hand for their pro-day on Friday, in large part to watch defensive end/outside linebacker Danny Batten. Batten measured 6-feet 2-1/2-inches, weighed 244 pounds, posted a 35-inch vertical and ran the 40 in times between 4.66 and 4.72 seconds. Batten's three cone was a very swift 7.04 seconds. He previously completed 30 reps on the bench during his first pro-day workout, which took place on March 23. Batten reminds us of a better version of former Wheaton star Andy Studebaker, a sixth round draft pick in 2008 who is now playing for the Kansas City Chiefs.
Almost twenty teams were on hand as junior tight end Rob Gronkowski finally ran for scouts during an unusual Saturday workout. It was worth the wait.
Gronkowski ran his 40s in 4.66 and 4.65 seconds. Only one tight end that projects in the draft's first two rounds, James Graham of Miami, was faster at the combine. Gronkowski weighed in at 258 pounds, six less than at the combine.
There has been much speculation about the health of Gronkowski's back after he participated only in the bench press at the combine, and then passed up Arizona's pro-day workout on March 12. Gronkowski missed the entire 2009 season after he was forced to undergo surgery for a back injury.
Last Thursday Gronkowski denied reports coming from the NFL Network that he was suffering from spinal stenosis, a potentially career-threatening condition. Left tackle Chris Samuels played through the same ailment throughout his NFL career, though it ultimately caused him to retire prematurely.
Gronkowski's 40 times confirm he is a legitimate deep threat at the tight end position, something he showed throughout the 2008 season.
Early reports from Boise State have Kyle Wilson running his 40 in times of 4.42 and 4.45 seconds. Scouts at the workout characterized Wilson's workout as good, but not spectacular. This will secure a spot for Wilson in the late portion of Round 1.
The top prospects for the Demon Deacons, including cornerback Brandon Ghee and offensive lineman Chris DeGeare, chose to stand on their numbers from the combine and opted to participate in position drills only. DeGeare, in particular, looked good.
Underrated defensive lineman John Russell turned in a solid workout from start to finish. Russell weighed 279 pounds, posted 30 reps on the bench and ran his 40 times in under 4.9 seconds. Scouts later put Russell through defensive line, linebacker, fullback and tight end drills. He accomplished most everything scouts asked of him and never tired. Russell, graded as a late-round pick coming into the season, may have shown enough today to sneak into the seventh round.
The times, they are a-changin'.
In the past, the Miami Hurricanes' pro day was always one to circle on the calendar. It was usually held the Friday following the completion of the combine and many scouts flew straight from Indianapolis to Miami for the event. Then again, those were the days when the Hurricanes placed five and six players into the draft's first round.
Today's pro day was poorly attended for obvious reasons. The Hurricanes, who had just a single player drafted last April, are likely to have just three selected next month.
Tight end Jimmy Graham will be the first Hurricane off the board. Graham did not run the 40 today but looked tremendous catching the ball in drills. He continues to climb up draft boards and is headed into the second round.
Offensive tackle Jason Fox, who did not work out at the combine while recovering from minor knee surgery, hurt his hamstring running the 40 this morning and pulled up. He tried to complete the position drills but struggled on the injured leg.
The main attraction on Friday's pro-day slate is Boise State, where cornerback Kyle Wilson is expected to work out for scouts. Wilson hurt his hamstring the week prior to the combine and was unable to participate. Arizona State is also on today's schedule, while the Wake Forest pro day is almost complete.
In a rare Saturday pro day, junior tight end Rob Gronkowski is scheduled to work out tomorrow in Arizona. Gronkowski denied recent reports that he is suffering from spinal stenosis, a potentially career-threatening condition. During the combine, Gronkowski repeatedly told those on hand that his surgically repaired back was 100-percent healthy, yet he chose to participate in only the bench press and completed 23 reps. He also bypassed Arizona's March 12th pro day. Cornerback Devin Ross is taking advantage of the extra opportunity and is also scheduled to run tomorrow.
Jimmy Clausen is using two of his Notre Dame teammates for target practice as he prepares for his April 9th work out. Robby Parris and David Grimes both flew to the Los Angeles area this week and will be the practice receivers for Clausen. Parris finished his senior season with 25 receptions, while Grimes last played for the Irish in 2008 and totaled 35 receptions. Grimes signed a free agent contract with the Denver Broncos after last April's draft, but was later released.
Receiver Ryan Wolfe pushed up 15 reps on the bench press, posted a 33.5-inch vertical jump and 9'10'' broad jump, then hurt his hamstring during his first 40-yard run and was unable to complete the workout. Wolfe is expected to schedule a private workout with scouts in early April in his hometown of Valencia, Calif.
Meanwhile, the times at Mississippi State were fast this morning as the top two prospects from the program improved from their combine performances.
Jamar Chaney, who was the fastest linebacker at the combine, ran his 40s between 4.45 to 4.48 seconds, more than one-tenth faster than his clocking in Indianapolis. Chaney looked terrific in position drills afterwards. His senior season and performance in pre-draft events marks a terrific comeback for a guy who sat on the sidelines in 2008 with a broken ankle.
Running back Anthony Dixon ran in the upper 4.5-second area (4.58). This represents an improvement of almost two-tenths from his combine mark and will push Dixon towards the late part of round two.
Half a dozen teams were on hand to watch Austen Lane at the Murray State pro day, and the defensive end made their trip worth it. He measured 6-6 and 273 pounds. His 40 time of 4.76 seconds was almost .1 better than his fastest official hand time from the combine. His short shuttle time of 4.37 seconds was more than .2 better than his mark from Indianapolis. Lane pushed up 20 reps on the bench, not a great number but close to what scouts expected.
Rain forced the cancellation of position drills, though it won't matter much as Lane performed well during defensive line and linebacker drills at the combine. He's an intriguing prospect and scouts feel he has a great amount of upside. The middle part of round two is a distinct possibility for the small school defender.
East Carolina, UNLV and Mississippi State highlight a day in which fast-rising defensive end Austen Lane will draw a big crowd at Murray State.
Foot surgery prevented receiver Ryan Wolfe of UNLV from participating in the combine, but today he'll perform for scouts. Unheralded defensive tackle Martin Tevaseu, also from UNLV, gets the opportunity to display his skill after not receiving an invitation to the combine. And Hawaii linebacker Brashton Satele, the cousin of Oakland Raiders centers Samson Satele, is a name to keep on the backburner.
Graded as a potential late-round choice before the season began, Satele was sidelined all of 2009 while recovering from shoulder surgery. He hopes to return to Hawaii for the 2010 season and has applied for a sixth year of eligibility. Assuming the NCAA does not give Satele a definitive answer by March 31, the talented linebacker will participate in Hawaii's pro-day event, which takes place in Carson, Calif. the next day. Satele is allowed to workout for NFL scouts, yet could return to play for Hawaii next season if he is declared eligible by the NCAA and does not sign with an agent.
His recent marks in training have been as good as any linebacker that participated in the combine. The 250-pound Satele has been running times of 4.55 seconds in the 40, 6.6 seconds in the three cone and has posted a best of 37.5-inches in the vertical jump.
In February, Andy Staples featured Callahan Bright in an article on SI.com. Bright, who played for Division II Shaw University last season, participated in North Carolina State's pro day yesterday. The 342-pound defensive tackle completed 41 reps on the bench and flashed ability during the rest of the workout. Unlikely to be selected in draft, Bright's size will attract teams and he's likely to sign a free agent contract.
Several NFL prospects stood out during the UConn pro-day Wednesday, beginning with defensive back Robert McClain. McClain measured 5-feet-9, 195 pounds and ran 4.42 seconds in the 40. His vertical jump was impressive at 38.5 inches as was his bench press at 23 repetitions. McClain tweaked his hamstring during the workout and was unable to complete position drills, but his potential as a dime back and special teams player has scouts intrigued.
Defensive end Willie Young failed to impress during the North Carolina State pro-day. His 40 time of 4.91 seconds was a slight improvement over his combine mark, yet not the sort of speed scouts are looking for in an undersized pass rusher.
In Nevada, defensive back Jonathan Amaya looked impressive. His 40 time of 4.45 seconds was better than his combine speed of 4.52 seconds. Amaya also improved his vertical jump, hitting 33 inches today. He was primarily a safety in college, but with his display on Wednesday, many scouts think he has the athleticism and ball skills to move to corner.
Junior Kevin Basped did not impress scouts in Nevada. As was the case during the combine, Basped looked stiff and unathletic during his workout. The junior was previously graded as a potential middle-round pick but is now likely to fall into the very late rounds.
The events started early this morning at Central Michigan's pro day, which got underway at 8.
Receiver Antonio Brown, who clocked 4.57 seconds in the 40 during the combine, improved his time to 4.49 and caught the ball well during drills.
Opinions are mixed on the throwing workout of quarterback Dan LeFevour. While his short and intermediate passes were solid, LeFevour struggled throwing downfield. Receivers were slowing up in their routes to catch the ball and out-running LeFevour's deep passes in some instances.
Bryan Anderson, one of the biggest sleepers at receiver, raised some eyebrows. The big pass catcher measured 6-feet-5 and 212 pounds, then ran 40 times just under 4.55 seconds (4.50 and 4.58). His marks of 37 inches in the vertical jump, 4.06 in the short shuttle and 6.81 seconds in the three cone also stood out. Anderson later grabbed every catchable ball thrown his way during position drills, which surprised no one.
A four year starter at Central Michigan, Anderson left the school ranked second in career receptions (290), first in receiving yards (3648) and first in touchdown receptions (28). He moves towards April as a legitimate fourth receiver on the NFL level and a possible later round selection.
Just a few workouts highlight today's schedule. Defensive end Willie Young will try to improve on his disappointing times from the combine at North Carolina State this morning. Kevin Basped of Nevada will try to do much the same later today. Central Michigan quarterback Dan LeFevour is expected to throw 80 passes for scouts in a scripted workout.
Jevan Snead impressed those present at the Mississippi pro-day on Tuesday but not everyone who wanted to attend was on hand. Several coaches and NFL decision makers were attending the owners meetings in Orlando. There is word Snead may hold another pro-day workout to accommodate those not in attendance yesterday.
One week ago Monday, during Georgia Tech's pro-day, we noted receiver Demaryius Thomas was seen easily moving around on the left foot that was surgically repaired at the end of February. Sources close to the situation told us yesterday the rehabilitation is going well and there's a good chance Thomas will do a workout for scouts before the draft. There's no date yet and the details of what the workout will be comprised of are still to be determined. We expect the decision to be made in the coming weeks.
After a stunning performance in the 40 and three-cone sprint, Dexter McCluster shined during position drills. Scouts lined him up all over the field; as a running back, slot receiver and return specialist as the Seattle Seahawks had McCluster field punts at the end of the day. His workout was near flawless.
For the speedy skill player from Ole Miss, it was the end to a trifecta of standout performances since January. After a terrific week of practice at the Senior Bowl, McCluster displayed great football skill at the combine and topped it off with a huge dose of athleticism today. He now moves towards the draft as a second-round choice and is heading into the middle part of the frame.
• Several scouts have mentioned how terrific Notre Dame's Golden Tate looked in position drills as he caught everything thrown in his direction. Scouts specifically instructed Damarius Bilbo, the former Georgia Tech prospect who was used as the practice quarterback today, to fire the ball into Tate's hands to test their integrity. Tate and his hands passed the test. The junior receiver will once again perform in front of a large group of scouts as he is expected to be part of Jimmy Clausen's April 9 workout.
The top prospects for Notre Dame stood on their combine numbers as offensive tackle Sam Young, center Eric Olsen and wide receiver Golden Tate participated only in position drills.
Paul Duncan, the team's third prospect on the offensive line, worked out for scouts and was impressive. Duncan measured 6-foot-6.5 and weighed 308 pounds. His 40 times ranged in the area of 5.17 seconds and Duncan pushed up 30 reps on the bench. He looked solid in position drills, displaying fluid hips and nice feet.
As mentioned earlier quarterback, Jimmy Clausen was on hand to view the workout. Clausen was seen hanging around with a contingent of people from the Washington Redskins during most of the pro-day event.
North Carolina's Aleric Mullins, who was given medical clearance to work out today after being held out of the combine, wowed scouts with an impressive performance.
Mullins weighed in at 319 pounds then ran 40 times which hovered around 4.9, with some watches reading 4.87 seconds. He completed 35 reps on the bench, which was another solid mark. Mullins was terrific in position drills, displaying a lot of quickness and ease of movement.
The big defensive lineman is getting consideration at nose tackle and as a three technique lineman, thanks to the athleticism he showed today. His pro-day workout could help move Mullins into the draft's initial 75 selections.
• Iowa State offensive lineman Reggie Stephens, who many thought should have received an invitation to the combine, made up for lost time today. Stephens weighed 314 pounds, completed 31 reps on the bench press and ran the 40 in 5.26. He looked very athletic in drills, due in large part to the fact Stephens has dropped 14 pounds in training since the season ended. The versatile blocker, who can line up at center or guard, is now likely to sneak into the late rounds of the draft.
• By all accounts it was a very successful day for Ole Miss QB Jevan Snead. He threw more than 50 passes and all but two were completed. His passes were crisp in the short field and Snead was very accurate with his deep throws. In many ways he was reminiscent of the Jevan Snead from 2008. This will help push Snead back into the middle rounds and the third round is not out of the equation.
The times at the Mississippi pro day have been fast today, even though it's being performed on slippery field turf. Thus far no one has stood out more than Dexter McCluster.
The multi-purpose skill player ran 40 times which hovered in the low 4.4s. Some scouts had McCluster as fast as 4.39 seconds. His three-cone time was also swift at 6.59. McCluster's 40 time represents an improvement of .15 seconds over his combine mark. He did stand on his combine results in the vertical jump, broad jump and short shuttle.
Defensive end Greg Hardy is also someone who's shown improvement from his performance in Indianapolis. His 40 times were clocked as fast as 4.76 seconds on several watches, compared to the 4.9s he ran at the combine. Hardy's vertical jump of 36.5 inches, broad jump of 10-feet, 1-inch and three cone of 7.06 were all significantly better than the marks he turned in at the combine.
The Rebels are preparing to complete the workout by participating in position drills. We will have the bottom line on Jevan Snead's throwing workout a little later on.
Tuesday's pro-day schedule is highlighted by a number of top programs as players from Notre Dame, Mississippi and North Carolina will work out for NFL scouts and coaches.
Jimmy Clausen will not participate in today's workout in South Bend and has opted to throw for scouts on April 9. Clausen, who has been throwing to his Notre Dame teammates during training, is expected to attend today's pro day and watch from the sidelines.
• We noted during the combine that Duke defensive tackle Vince Oghobaase looked sluggish and lacked quickness, in part due to the many injuries he's recently suffered.
Oghobaase significantly improved his numbers during Monday's pro day. He ran the 40 in a time under 5.25 seconds and the short shuttle in 4.58. The latter is comparable to the time Jared Odrick, a likely first round choice, clocked in Indianapolis. Oghobaase told several people after the workout he felt much better yesterday than he did at the combine.
More than two dozen NFL teams were on hand to watch several Iowa Hawkeyes workout Monday afternoon, and the highest-rated prospects did not disappoint those who made the trip.
Cornerback Amari Spievey posted slightly better 40 times than at the NFL combine. Most scouts had Spievey in the very low 4.5-second range, while a few stopwatches read 4.49. Spievey looked solid in position drills afterward and secured himself as a top-75 pick.
Linebacker A.J. Edds and Pat Angerer both ran in the high 4.6s, beating their respective 40 times at the combine, as well.
Junior offensive tackle Bryan Bulaga stood on most of his combine numbers, yet did participate in the bench press. His 27 reps were one better than his number from Indianapolis (26). He also took part in position drills on Monday. Bulaga is unlikely to slip past the 12th pick of Round 1.
During the Duke pro day, scouts came away impressed with linebacker Vincent Rey. The team's leading tackler (weighing 240 pounds) gave scouts reason for pause, after turning in a terrific workout -- 4.58 and 4.54 in the 40; 38½-inch vertical jump; 6.79 seconds in the three-cone drill.
Several teams have been showing a lot of interest in the multi-versatile Rey, who was productive at middle linebacker and on the weak side for Duke.
The pro-day week starts off with a light schedule Monday. We'll be watching Iowa, where cornerback Amari Spievey hopes to solidify himself as a top 75 choice. In Durham, N.C., defensive lineman Vince Oghobaase hopes to rebound from a poor combine performance at Duke's pro day.
The schedule heats up Tuesday as Notre Dame, Mississippi and North Carolina take the field. Arizona State, Boise State and Central Michigan also have pro-day workouts this week.
Cleaning up a few tidbits from late last week:
• During the San Jose State workout on Friday, receiver Kevin Jurovich pleasantly surprised scouts with his speed. Considered a possession receiver by NFL decision makers, Jurovich timed his 40 in the low 4.4s and topped 37.5 inches on the vertical jump. He later put on a pass-catching clinic during position drills. This show of athleticism has likely sealed the sure-handed Jurovich as a late-round pick.
• During the Virginia workout, 240-pound lead blocker Rashawn Jackson was timed at 4.65 in the 40, one-tenth better than his combine performance. Jackson now moves towards April as the top pure fullback available in the draft.
After a full slate of pro days earlier this week, the pace slowed Friday as just a few schools performed workouts for NFL scouts. Players not invited to the combine got an opportunity to shine, while several who were in Indianapolis improved on their performances.
• Missouri State tight end Clay Harbor continues to move up draft boards. Running outdoors on field turf, Harbor timed in the mid 4.5-second range (4.56/4.57) in the 40. That's a major improvement from the combine, where Harbor's marks were clocked in the upper 4.6-area. His 4.24-second short shuttle run was also much faster. Harbor, who completed an unexpected 30 reps on the bench, has solidified himself as a mid-round choice in April's draft.
• Tulane receiver Jeremy Williams, who ran disappointing times at the combine, was significantly faster today. His time of 4.44 seconds in the 40 was almost two-tenths of a second better than his combine mark. Williams, who played well at the Senior Bowl, has moved into the middle rounds.
Running back Andre Anderson, who returned from a shoulder injury in 2008 to put up career numbers last season, looked very athletic during the Tulane workout. Anderson, who weighed in over 210 pounds, posted a 39-inch vertical jump and ran his 40 as fast as 4.52 seconds.
• Vanderbilt DE Steven Stone was graded as a potential late-round pick entering the season and his workout today may have pushed him into the draft's final selections. Stone measured 6-foot-5 and 270 pounds, then proceeded to turn in a vertical jump of 35-inches and run a three cone time of 6.99-seconds, a terrific mark for someone his size. Stone was put through a battery of defensive line and linebacker drills by NFL scouts, as there's a feeling the athletic prospect could easily add another 20 pounds to his frame.
• Middle Tennessee's Chris McCoy came out of nowhere last season and has been steadily moving up draft boards since September. Almost two-dozen teams were on hand at MTSU to watch the pass-rushing terror work out, and McCoy did not disappoint. He ran a 40 time in the low 4.7-second area at 261-pounds, posted a vertical jump of 33.5 inches and a broad jump of 10'3''. McCoy lined up in a three-point stance in college, but projects to linebacker in the NFL. Many of the teams at the workout use a 3-4 alignment on defense and were impressed with the ease with which McCoy was able to move in reverse when simulating pass coverage skills. He's secured a spot for himself in the later rounds.
Offensive lineman Chris Marinelli, one of the more athletic blockers in the nation not invited to last months combine, showed why he's highly regarded in the scouting community. During Stanford's pro day the 301-pound blocker ran his 40 as fast as 5.04 seconds, posted a vertical jump of 30 1/2 inches and ran a solid three-cone time of 7.45 seconds. He completed a disappointing 16 reps on the bench press, yet Marinelli is getting plenty of interest from zone blocking teams.
In Oregon, the wait was worth it for LeGarrette Blount. The maligned prospect stunned scouts by posting forty times which ranged in the mid 4.5 second area, a full two-tenths faster than his combine mark. Several scouts clocked Blount in times of 4.53 and 4.55 seconds after he weighed in at 238 pounds. The forty was the only item Blount had on his schedule today.
TJ Ward was another prospect from Oregon who significantly improved his numbers from the combine. His 40 time, which was clocked as fast as 4.46 by scouts, was also two-tenths faster than his performance in Indy. Ward also timed well in the short shuttle (4.07 seconds) and three cone (6.78). His performance may have sealed the safety as a top 60 choice next month.
The workout at Virginia Tech is finished and junior defender Jason Worilds impressed the scouts on hand. He improved his 40 time from the combine, running twice in the low 4.5-second area. His short shuttle time of 4.08 seconds was terrific. Worilds, who measured just over 6-foot-1 and 254 pounds at the combine, was put through defensive line drills by the Carolina Panthers and linebacker drills by the Pittsburgh Steelers. Today's performance could help him sneak into the final stages of round two.
Meanwhile at Temple, Steve Maneri, rightly considered by many as the top blocking tight end in April's draft, showed surprising speed and athleticism during the Owls pro day. The 6-7, 264-pound prospect then ran a 4.81 40. His 23 reps on the bench put him with the upper echelon tight ends who lifted at the combine. Several teams project Maneri to offensive tackle down the road; the athleticism he displayed today is likely to secure him a spot in the late rounds of the draft.
The times at Florida State were fast today. Cornerback Patrick Robinson ran a 4.38 40 and linebacker Dekoda Watson was also swift, clocking a 4.45. Both marks were an improvement from the times Robinson and Watson ran at the combine. Robinson looked solid in drills and has now opened the door to possibly being drafted during the final selections of the first round.
Surprisingly, Myron Rolle, who ran poorly at the combine, did not work out today and will have to hold a private workout in a few weeks.
In Virginia, nearly a dozen scouts and coaches were on hand to watch defensive lineman Nate Collins, who did not disappoint. He weighed in at 291 pounds, then ran a time of 4.85 in the 40. His vertical jump was a solid 32 inches. Collins transferred that athleticism to his position drills, displaying quickness and explosion in everything coaches asked him to do. The ability to run well at 291 pounds not only enhances Collins' draft grade, but also increases the number of teams interested in acquiring him. Scouts now feel Collins can play either defensive tackle in a conventional system or the end position in a 3-4 alignment.
Today's workouts will center on the state of Virginia, as both the Cavaliers and Hokies perform for NFL scouts.
One prospect to watch is defensive lineman Nate Collins, who could be a mid-round steal even though the combine snubbed him. Cornerback Chris Cook, who has been moving up draft boards since October, is expected to stand on his combine numbers but participate in position drills.
Virginia Tech also has a few players not invited to Indianapolis who feel they have a score to settle, primarily offensive guard Sergio Render.
Out west, Stanford holds it's pro day, though the word is running back Toby Gerhart is not expected run.
The Oregon Ducks have their second pro day in a week, with running back LeGarrette Blount and safety TJ Ward expected to work out for scouts.
During the mayhem of yesterday's pro day updates, we failed to mention one of the better performances in the nation. Michigan State receiver Blair White shocked scouts by running 40 times around 4.40 seconds. It was much better than the 4.50 White ran at the combine and was far better than anything scouts could have imagined. White ran terrific routes during drills and caught everything thrown to him, which was expected.
A long pro-day schedule has finally come to a close and with it comes the mention of some fine performances at Illinois.
Receiver/tight end JeffCumberland put on show for scouts. Cumberland, who measured 6-4 and weighed 249, was swift in the 40, running a 4.46. Only one tight end, DorrinDickerson of Pittsburgh, was faster at the combine. His marks in the short shuttle (4.39), three cone (6.89) and vertical jump (35.5) were all impressive. Cumberland is known to be a great athlete, but is he a great football player? He totaled 59 receptions over his four-year career with the and the opinion is Cumberland should have been more productive. Still, these measurables should help him land in the late rounds.
Wideout ArreliousBenn ran the 40 in the low-to-mid 4.4 second area, a major improvement from his performance at the combine. Scouts said Benn caught the ball exceptionally well and has moved back in with a group of receivers that will be drafted starting late in round one.
Isiah "Juice" Williams, who has been working with a quarterback coach in the off season, also looked sharp. Williams, working exclusively at quarterback today, displayed a better throwing motion and improved accuracy. Williams had a long day as he threw the ball during wide receiver, tight end, running back and defensive back drills. When the afternoon ended, some estimated Williams had delivered almost 200 passes.
Tennessee's top prospects chose not to participate in today's workout as both DT Dan Williams and S Eric Berry stood on their combine numbers. Berry was hoping to participate in some of the drills but slightly sprained his toe early in the day and decided to sit on the sidelines. The injury has not been reported as serious.
Jeff Cottam, the one-time highly rated tight end who struggled with a back injury in the middle of his career, turned a few heads today. Cottam measured 6-foot-6.5 and weighed 262 pounds. His official 40 time of 4.79 seconds was not bad considering most of the times today were slow. Cottam looked sensational catching the ball, making a number of athletic receptions. Originally graded as a free agent prospects, Cottam could now get looks in the late rounds.
• At Fresno State, running back Ryan Mathews repeated his 40 times from the combine, running in the 4.45 range. Like at Florida this morning, the field Mathews ran on at Fresno State was soggy from rain.
Mathews' teammate, receiver Seyi Ajirotutu, improved slightly from Indianapolis, running in the low 4.5 seconds area.
Some of the pro-day workouts around the nation, such as Fresno State and Illinois, are still going on.
The position drills have been completed at Florida's pro day.
Scouts are walking away from the workout with a better feeling about Tim Tebow than they did two months ago at the Senior Bowl. His accuracy was better and he was completing passes, but receivers found it necessary to reach backwards or bend to the ground to grab his throws. He also under-threw a lot of passes. The general feeling is while Tebow improved he still needs a lot of work on his game.
The pass catchers put on a show today. Aaron Hernandez and David Nelson each displayed sure hands, catching everything thrown their way. Hernandez has cemented himself as one of the top three tight ends in April's draft.
Joe Haden looked good in position drills and displayed tremendous ball skills. His footwork was smooth and very fluid. Haden's 40 time may have been a bit slower than we first reported. A number of scouts have since told us their watches read 4.52 when Haden crossed the line, as opposed to the 4.45 we initially reported.
Finally, Carlos Dunlap also had a noteworthy day. He was timed at 4.66 on the wet field, at least .05 better than his time from Indianapolis. Dunlap looked good in position drills afterwards. This was expected as Dunlap is known as a great athlete. It's his motivation and game day motor, something which can't be measured, that has scouts concerned.
Tim Tebow's passing workout is still going on. There is a crowd of approximately 1,000 people on hand cheering his every move. Tebow started slow in the early going then picked up the pace. The consensus is, while he's showing a good amount of accuracy and is completing his passes, he has thus far shown poor arm strength and his passes do not come in the form of tight spirals.
• Only two Gators participated in linebacker drills: Brandon Spikes, considered by most a top 45 pick; and Dustin Doe, more than likely a free agent who'll get an invitation to camp. Yet to the naked eye, Doe looked liked the better NFL prospect during drills.
Doe was quicker, showed better footwork and lateral range. Spikes, on the other hand, practiced with an upright stance and seemed mechanical. His official 40 time is likely to be a little faster than we first reported.
• Scouts in Gainesville have told us they are likely to take .05 seconds off each time run today because of the field conditions. The grass was still a little damp from rain, and the field at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium, where the players ran, is not a completely flat surface as they must allow for drainage. When the players ran the second 40 it was moved to a different area of the field to allow for better traction.
Florida cornerbackJoe Haden, a top 10 prospect, ran significantly better today, timing right around 4.45 seconds on both of his 40s. This will help restore his draft grade after running poorly at the combine.
Tight end Aaron Hernandez was quick again and timed just under 4.60 on his second 40. Earlier in the day, Hernandez surprised scouts by completing 30 reps on the bench press -- a terrific number for a tight end known more for receiving than blocking.
Receiver David Nelson has been a pleasant surprise thus far. The tall wideout touched 38 inches on the vertical jump, 10-feet, 4.5-inches in the broad and ran well in the 40, with a best time that read just under 4.5 on a number of watches. Nelson was the forgotten man on a Gators team rich with skill players, but scouts feel he has the skills necessary to make a squad as a fifth receiver. They rave about Nelson's downfield blocking. Today's workout numbers could push him into the late rounds.
The Gators participating in today's pro day have already completed their jumps and bench press. They are presently running the 40 and the early indications are not good for Brandon Spikes. Few stop watches had Spikes 40 time under 5.0 seconds, with most reading between 5.02-to-5.08.
Tight end Aaron Hernandez, who did not workout at the combine because of a back injury, had an unofficial 40 time of 4.64.
The celebration of St Patrick's Day takes a back seat to today's pro-day workouts for NFL scouts. The headliner takes place in Gainesville, where Tim Tebow and other Gators prospects are working out, but critical pro-day events are also scheduled for Illinois, Tennessee and Fresno State.
While most in Gainesville will focus on Tebow, Florida's pro day is also important for cornerback Joe Haden and linebacker Brandon Spikes. Haden must improve on his poor 40 time from the combine to have any chance of being picked in the draft's top 10 selections.
Spikes, who chose not to run in Indianapolis, must post a good 40 time or he will fall into the middle of round two. Scouts have questioned his foot speed all season long and recent word in the scouting community is Spikes has not been diligent about his workouts during the offseason.
The field where the workout will take place is wet from rain, so both players will be at a disadvantage.
Two Gator defenders who won't be working out are defensive end Jermaine Cunningham and linebacker Ryan Stamper. Cunningham is still recovering from a torn labrum while Stamper recently injured his back. Both are scheduled to work out in early April.
• In Illinois, another highly considered player won't be taking the field. Jon Asamoah, rated by most teams as one of the top five guards available in April's draft, suffered a hairline fracture of his shoulder blade during Senior Bowl practices in January. He did not work out at the combine and will bypass today's pro day. Asamoah has already scheduled April 8 as the day he will workout privately for NFL scouts.
• Fresno State running back Ryan Mathews turned in a terrific workout at the combine but hopes to improve this morning during the Bulldogs pro day. We were told Tuesday night that the highly rated ball carrier will run the 40 and take part in most of today's workout.
At Pittsburgh, cornerback Aaron Berry, who was recently described by Notre Dame's Golden Tate as the toughest defensive back he faced all year, ran as fast as 4.47 seconds in the 40, posted a swift 3.88 in the short shuttle and timed 6.73 in the three cone. His 37-inch vertical jump was also solid. Berry is a talented cover corner but struggled with injuries as a senior. He could be a steal in the late rounds.
Tight end Nate Byham, who also struggled with injuries last season, improved since his combine performance. Byham ran as fast as 4.84 in the 40 after weighing 268 pounds and by all accounts looked terrific catching the ball.
The Panthers other talented tight end, Dorrin Dickerson, stood on his tremendous combine numbers.
• At Bowling Green, Freddie Barnes' times in the forty ranged from a low of 4.58 seconds to a high of 4.65. He touched 31 on the vertical jump. These numbers will not move Barnes in with the second tier of receivers available next April but he'll still be a quality pick in the later rounds.
Scouts lined the field in Athens for the Georgia pro day and most of them came away very impressed with the effort put in by the draft eligible Bulldogs.
Defensive tackle Jeff Owens, who completed 44 reps on the bench press at the combine, improved many of his other numbers from Indianapolis. Owens ran 40 times which were as fast as 4.83 seconds, .15 quicker than his combine time. His short shuttle time of 4.5 seconds was also better.
Scouts said Owens tore it up during drills and has solidified himself as a top 100 choice.
Kade Weston was another defensive lineman who stood out. He measured just under 6-foot-5, weighed 315 pounds and ran a 5.0 40. His vertical jump was solid at 29.5 inches. Weston received applause from the coaches during position drills as he displayed terrific hand punch and foot quickness during the bag drill. Weston did not live up to expectations during his Georgia career, yet his size and athleticism may be too good to pass up in the late rounds.
Rennie Curran was another big winner and looked strong from start to finish. The 5-11 Curran weighed 235 pounds, completed 27 reps on the bench press then ran his 40 in times which ranged between 4.63-to-4.71 seconds. His vertical jump of 35 inches was also impressive.
By all accounts, Curran transferred that speed and athleticism onto the field during drills, as he looked terrific in pass coverage and quickly moved from sideline-to-sideline. An NFL team looking for a one-gap linebacker may look to Curran in round three.
Cornerback Prince Miller, who was not invited to the combine, had one of the best days in Athens. The smallish cover man (Miller measured 5-8, 190) completed 22 reps on the bench, touched 37 inches in the vertical jump and posted a 40 time in the low 4.4s.
• Barry Church raised eyebrows during Toledo's pro day this morning.
The big defensive back weighed 220 pounds, four less than the combine, and ran 40 times which clocked right around the 4.6 range, almost one-tenth faster than his time from Indianapolis. Scouts are torn whether Church projects to outside linebacker or safety in the NFL. He was successful at both spots in college and the athleticism Church displayed this morning will give coaches even more confidence in his abilities.
It is rare for NFL scouts to travel in large numbers to Bowling Green State for a pro day, but that's exactly what's happening. They will be on hand to watch the workout of record-setting receiver Freddie Barnes. His 155 receptions in 2009 set an NCAA mark as Barnes also registered 19 touchdowns and 1,770 receiving yards. Despite being graded as a legitimate mid-to-late round prospect, Barnes did not receive an invitation to last month's combine, which surprised many in the scouting community.
Many are concerned about his speed and quickness so a good athletic workout this afternoon is important for Barnes.
• The Georgia Bulldogs will also be performing for NFL decision makers today in Athens. Junior linebacker Rennie Curran hopes to complete the entire workout this time around. During the combine, Curran was sidelined after pulling his hamstring on his first attempt in the 40.
• Monday, afternoon almost a dozen teams traveled to Ypsilanti, Mich., for pro day at Eastern Michigan. Just about all were on hand to watch quarterback Andy Schmitt. Considered a potential late-round pick entering the '09 season, Schmitt saw his year come to a premature end after he tore knee ligaments three games into the campaign. Reconstructive surgery was required to repair the damage.
Despite being just five months removed from surgery, Schmitt threw well for scouts Monday. He measured 6-4, 230, threw into a strong wind but displayed a solid arm and was accurate with his deep throws. Schmitt is someone to keep on the radar screen in the very late rounds of next month's draft.
Several LSU Tigers drew rave reviews today after their pro-day workout.
Cornerback Chris Hawkins came away a big winner. After improving his 40 time, Hawkins looked the best of all the defensive backs in position drills. Unlike the combine, his footwork and hip movement today was fluid and quick. Hawkins may have just secured a spot for himself in the middle rounds.
Though he did not run well, safety Chad Jones looked very good in position drills after a slow start. He was quick changing direction, fast to the sidelines and caught the ball well simulating an interception. Jones looked like a centerfielder today, which was not the case at the combine.
Charles Scott also looked like a big-time prospect in drills. His footwork was better than expected and Scott displayed a good amount of quickness. The big back may finally be putting concerns about the collarbone he broke four months ago behind him.
For the most part, the 40 times at LSU have been fast this afternoon as a number of players have improved their combine marks. Several sleeper prospects who were not invited to the combine have also impressed scouts.
Running back Charles Scott ran 4.53 seconds during each of his two attempts in the 40. That's much better than his combine times which were electronically timed at 4.75 and 4.72.
Cornerback Chris Hawkins, 4.53 at the combine, was also faster. Hawkins posted 40 times in the very low 4.4 area an improved his vertical jump to 36.5 inches (35 in Indianapolis).
Keiland Williams, who did not run at the combine due to an ankle injury, was surprisingly fast today. The 231-pound running back stopped watches in the low 4.5s during the 40, with some scouts timing him as fast as 4.51.
Of the players not invited to the combine, safety Danny McCary has been the most impressive. McCray weighed 214, completed 24 reps on the bench and ran a 4.46 in the 40.
Others have not fared as well.
Brandon LaFell was only slightly faster today than in Indianapolis last month. Both of his 40 times hovered in the mid-4.5s. Safety Chad Jones also ran similar times and completed just 11 reps on the bench.
Receiver Demaryius Thomas did attend the Georgia Tech pro day today in Atlanta. With a boot still on his surgically repaired left foot, Thomas walked without the aid of crutches and by all accounts was moving very well.
Jonathan Dwyer looked very impressive from start to finish. In similar fashion to his combine performance, Dwyer looked terrific in drills, effortlessly moving around and looking in great shape. Unlike Indianapolis, Dwyer was swift in the 40, clocking times which read in the mid-4.55 area, almost .15 faster than his time at the combine. This will restore Dwyer's draft ranking and he now battles Ryan Mathews of Fresno State and Jahvid Best of Cal for the right to be the second running back selected in next month's draft after C.J. Spiller of Clemson.
Safety Morgan Burnett, who did not participate in combine workouts due to a strained left hamstring, has turned heads today. Burnett started the day by posting a vertical jump of 40 inches and a broad jump of 11-feet. Most clocked his 40 times in the mid-4.4 range, with some timing Burnett as fast as 4.42.
Defensive end Derrick Morgan stood on his solid combine numbers but is participating in position drills. Morgan looks good and the consensus is he's assured to be a top 12 pick in the draft.
The pro-day schedule this week has a decidedly SEC flavor as scouts will be traveling to Arkansas, Georgia, Florida, Tennessee and Vanderbilt over the next five days. One of the largest crowds will be on hand in Baton Rouge today as almost 20 LSU seniors will be working out.
It will be an opportunity for two highly considered prospects, receiver Brandon LaFell and running back Charles Scott, to improve on their poor 40 times from the combine.
• Another interested group of NFL decision-makers and scouts will be in Atlanta as the Georgia Tech pro day is also on today's schedule.
Jonathan Dwyer is another highly rated running back who hopes to run significantly faster today than he did in Indianapolis.
Scouts also hope to get an update on the progress of receiver Demaryius Thomas, who is just three weeks removed from the foot surgery that prevented him from participating in the combine.
More than two dozen scouts and coaches were on hand for the TCU pro-day and the players they came to see did not disappoint.
Linebacker Daryl Washington, a prospect shooting up draft boards, had a sensational outing. Weighing in at 229-pounds, one less than his combine number, Washington clocked times that ranged between 4.46-to-4.51 seconds in the 40, more than one-tenth faster than his performance in Indianapolis. His short shuttle time of 4.07 seconds was better than any linebacker who ran at the combine.
During position drills, Washington wowed scouts with his skills in pass coverage. Many on hand felt his footwork was as good as most of the defensive backs they've worked out to date. Finally, scouts were impressed by his physique, and the consensus is that Washington should be able to add an additional 10 pounds to his frame and not lose speed. He has cemented himself as a top 50 choice.
Jerry Hughes decided to stand on his combine numbers and just perform position drills for the scouts on hand. Hughes was asked to complete defensive line and linebacker skills, which he did effectively.
Next week is an important one on the pro-day schedule. Several SEC schools are on the docket including LSU on Monday with Georgia on Tuesday, then Tim Tebow, Brandon Spikes and the rest of the Florida Gators on Wednesday.
• As reported earlier, Arizona tight end Rob Gronkowski was a spectator at today's pro day and did not participate in anything. He is waiting until the end of March to showcase his skills. Scouts who traveled to Tucson for the workout were not happy and several told us they think the junior is not completely healthy coming off his back surgery from last year.
Arizona defensive tackle Earl Mitchell continues to impress teams. Scouts asked him to try to better his marks from the combine in the vertical jump and three cone. He responded by improving his vertical by 4.5 inches (33 at pro day) and .37 seconds in the three cone (7.31 versus 7.68). Mitchell could now move into the draft's initial 70 selections.
• In Michigan, Brandon Graham stood on his combine numbers but several of his teammates performed well for scouts, primarily little known safety Stevie Brown.
Brown measured just under 6-foot and weighed 212 pounds. His 40 times ranged in the mid-4.4 area while his three cone was an impressive 6.61. Brown's other marks were terrific and included 23 reps on the bench and a vertical jump of 35 inches. Brown, who was moved from his natural position of safety to linebacker last season, led the Wolverines with 80 tackles as a senior and was a top special teams player. He'll be a late-round steal based on his 2008 film, when Brown played in the secondary.
Cornerback Donovan Warren improved on his 40 from the combine, clocking as fast as 4.55 seconds, significantly better than the 4.68 he ran in Indianapolis.
• Getting back to the Ohio State workout from earlier today. The accolades continue to pile up for Thaddeus Gibson. After his fine 40, Gibson, who lined up at defensive end for the Buckeyes, impressed scouts with another outstanding performance at linebacker.
Ohio State senior Robert Rose must be mentioned. He measured 6-4, 294 then ran his 40s as fast as 4.75. Unfortunately for Rose, injuries dogged him throughout his Buckeyes career and he never landed a starting job. But scouts understand he has the physical skills to play in the NFL.
Linebacker Thaddeus Gibson was the man of the hour at this morning's Ohio State pro day. Very much looking the part, Gibson shaved one-tenth of a second off his combine 40 time, stopping watches in the low 4.6-second area. Gibson has secured a spot in the third round and could be taken as early as the late part of round two.
Safety Kurt Coleman ran an adequate 40 time of 4.52 seconds, then looked terrific in the three-cone with a time of 6.75 seconds. Only five defensive backs at the combine ran faster in the three cone. Coleman's vertical jump was 35 inches. He moves towards the draft as a top 75 choice.
Small school cornerback Akwasi Owusa-Ansah of Indiana-Pa. was allowed to take part in Ohio State's workout and showed he belonged with the big boys. Owusa-Ansah was under 4.4 in the 40 on a number of stopwatches. His 20-yard shuttle also timed a solid 4.05. During the combine Owusa-Ansah's 40 time was 4.58 with 4.32 in the shuttle. He will undergo surgery next Thursday to repair a torn labrum which he suffered last season but has definitely elevated his draft stock over the past month.
The Ohio State, Michigan, Arizona, TCU and Oregon State pro days are just some of the headliners on today's schedule.
• In Columbus expect some fast times on what is historically a fast track used by the Buckeyes during their workout. Today is very important for a pair of Ohio State seniors who did not run the 40 at the combine.
Defensive tackle Doug Worthington initially hurt his pectoral muscle during the bench press at the combine and there was fear he had torn it. Fortunately for Worthington, it was just a muscle strain and he's ready to go today.
Kurt Coleman had been suffering from a groin injury leading up to the combine. He completed the position drills in Indianapolis, yet did nothing else. Today's workout could be the difference between being a second- or third-round choice for Coleman.
• During his media appearance at the combine, Arizona tight end Rob Gronkowski was adamant he was completely healthy and the back injury that forced him to miss the 2009 season was a non-factor. Gronkowski only participated in the bench press in Indianapolis, deciding to wait until pro day to complete his workout. The word in the scouting community Thursday night was Gronkowski is not going to run today at Arizona and has set a date in late March to perform the workout. We will keep you updated.
• Late Thursday afternoon in Moscow, Idaho, more than a dozen teams traveled to watch offensive linemen Mike Iupati work out. Included were at least four directors of scouting and offensive line coaches from teams around the league. Iupati stood on his combine numbers but completed position drills for those in attendance. During the combine, Iupati had 20 formal interviews with teams and moving forward he already has nine official visits on his schedule. He has solidified himself as a first-round pick. The question is how high will he be selected.
• UAB receiver Joe Webb, who turned heads at the Senior Bowl in January, further impressed scouts today during his pro-day workout.
Webb started the day weighing 223 pounds, then completed 21 reps on the bench press. He posted a vertical jump of 42.5 inches then a broad jump of 11 feet, 5½ inches. Webb's 40 times were surprisingly fast, clocking under 4.5, with some watches reading 4.43. His three-cone time of 6.55 and short-shuttle mark of 3.91 represent some of the fastest marks of any receiver who participated in the combine. Webb has now entered the conversation as a top 100 pick with the combination of receiver skills he displayed at the Senior Bowl and athleticism shown at his pro day.
• In Lincoln, scouts came by the dozens to watch Ndamukong Suh, who stood on his combine numbers and only participated in position drills today.
Safety Larry Asante helped himself by knocking almost a full tenth off his 40 time from the combine. Asante, who was struggling with a hamstring injury in Indianapolis, clocked 4.55 today and has now solidified himself as a mid-round choice.
• Bad weather in South Carolina hampered the Clemson pro day as the position drills had to be cut short due to a driving rain. Many of Clemson's top NFL prospects, including C.J. Spiller, Jacoby Ford and Ricky Sapp, did not run the 40, preferring to stand on their solid times at the combine.
• In Oregon, safety T.J. Ward and running back LeGarrette Blount will not participate in today's workouts. Both will perform scouts next Thursday, March 18, when the Ducks hold their second session.
• Jameson Konz of Kent State, the former linebacker who moved to tight end in 2009, thrilled scouts with his performance today. Konz, who measured 6-foot-3, 235 pounds, ran his 40s as fast as 4.38 seconds and posted a vertical jump of 46 inches. There is some debate as to what position Konz will play at the next level, linebacker or tight end, but several in the scouting community think the athletic prospect is a late-round sleeper, much like his former teammate Julian Edelman.
• Southern Illinois record-setting running back Deji Karim also put on a show on scouts today. He weighed 209, 10 pounds heavier than expected. Karim then ran the 40 in times that ranged from 4.37 to 4.40. His vertical jump was also impressive, at 43 inches. Karim had 1,694 yards rushing last season, averaging 7.1 yards per carry. He's getting late-round consideration by a number of teams looking for a change of pace runner.
Today is a big day on the pro-day schedule as NFL scouts and coaches will be spread out to watch prospects at Clemson, Nebraska, Boston College, Northwestern as well as another half-dozen universities.
Corey Wootton, who did not work out at the combine, will not take part in Northwestern's pro day. He will wait until late March before performing in front of scouts.
Pro days have been going strong for more than a week and thus far it has been the players that were snubbed by the combine who have stood out. To wit:
• On Monday, Utah safety Robert Johnson, who most believe is a middle-round choice, posted numbers comparable to the top defensive backs at the combine. His three-cone time of 6.56 was outstanding, as was his short shuttle run.
• Tuesday saw Oklahoma fullback Matt Clapp solidified himself as a late-round choice. The 249-pound lead blocker posted 40 times in the 4.6 range, then turned in a terrific pass-catching workout.
• Wednesday, it was Alex Daniels turn to shine.
The Cincinnati defensive lineman turned in a monster workout, running times in the low 4.5 area after measuring 6-foot-2, 265 pounds. Daniels other marks included a vertical jump of 36.5 inches, 31 reps on the bench press and a three cone time of 7.08 seconds. He is drawing comparisons to former Bearcat Connor Barwin, selected in the second round of the 2009 draft by the Houston Texans.
Ironically, like Barwin, scouts have mixed opinions on where to play Daniels at the next level. Like his former teammate a year ago, Daniels completed drills at defensive line, linebacker and tight end.